Hello, Spongey here.
Awhile back, I reviewed Dinner for Schmucks. It was a comedy where the main character sucked, but the rest of the movie, while weak, could not critically make it awful, even though I hated it while watching it. It was an odd film for me.
Why do I bring this up? I felt the same way towards today’s movie. It’s a 2013 comedy that got bad reviews from the critics (20 something on Rt, last I checked) but was quickly forgotten. Spill.com even gave it a Fuck You, which was the first of a shocking amount that year. Unless Movie 43 came out first, in which case, that was the first.
It didn’t make any worst lists, and no one besides Spill flat out hated it. This kind of confuses me to an extent, but I see why people have forgotten it, as it doesn’t quite stack up to the likes of Grown ups 2 and Movie 43.
Though I have to disagree with Rex Reed, who did not actually bash the movie. He bashed the star’s weight, referring to her as, and I quote: “tractor-sized”, “humongous”, “obese”, and a “hippo”.
I’d respond, but Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids said it best:
“I cordially invite Mr. Rex Reed to go fuck himself “
This film stars Melisa McCarthy, who is one of those actors who had a breakout role in an film and got a few staring roles and people quickly regretted making said actor a star. Well okay, that is unfair. Of her starring roles, only this one was panned, and it was for her character more than her performance. I liked her in the otherwise weak Bridesmaids, and that same year she came out with The Heat, which I’ve seen and was shockingly decent.
So really, this movie isn’t her fault. When you see the materiel she has, you’ll see what I mean. The movie was directed by Seth Gordon, who previously did…Horrible Bosses? Isn’t that a good comedy? The hell?
So we have a star who can be annoying sometimes, and a director that once did something good. This can only be amazing, right? Yeah, let’s get into and you’ll why watching this movie a few months ago was a bad idea for me.
This, is Identity Thief
The move opens with our main character, Sandy, played by Jason Batemen as he gets a phone call from the “Fraud protection department”. The lady tells him someone is trying to steal his identity. She asks him to give her his info so he can do protection plan thing. He does so and it turns out the lady is actually a nameless (for now) chick played by Mellisa McCarthy, who has successfully stolen his identity.
Okay, first off, I won’t question how she knew him him and all that cuz it’s too complicated. But I will say that Sandy is an idiot. Also, the movie literally starts out with the titular Identity Thief doing her thing. No build up or anything.
While I am glad they didn’t beat around the bush, I must object. Why? This movie is well over 100 minutes, which is not only way too long, but it pisses me off that they start out right away, cuz it means the rest of the movie will be hopelessly padded. This was a bad mood on their part.
Melisa then uses Sandy’s info to use his credit card and do fat woman things. She goes to a bar where she pays for everyone drinks and of course, gets roaring drunk. She starts up quite the ruckus, which the bar tender objects too. She ignores him and eventually he tells her to get the heck out. He breaks it to her that the guys in the bar aren’t her friend, and she punches him out. She is arrested for assault.
This woman will be portrayed as sympathetic later on. Now do you see the problem with this movie?
She’s taken to the station, and we cut to the real Sandy, with his family, on his birthday. Naturally his kids are sickeningly sweet and Sandy has a happy family. Joking aside, this isn’t the worst family, but they are pretty bland. That night, Sandy has a sweet discussion with his wife and then they do it.
The next day, Sandy goes to his job at a business place, and he bumps into his boss, played by John Cho. Rock Vegas, now this? He talks to this other boss guy and after a discussion fulls of words I do not understand, Sandy gets a call from a nail salon lady saying an appointment was made under his name.
She says “Sandy” didn’t leave his/her number, so they googled him. Knowing the internet, I am not shocked you can find that info easily, but I am shocked she didn’t find out the truth about the real Sandy through this search.
Before anything can else can happen, Harold takes Sandy to the parking garage to talk to these other dudes. Cornish, the other boss dude, is screwing them over, and everything is sick of it. Harold says he and his pals are leaving to do their own thing, and invite Sandy to join them.
Before we get his answer, but cut back to Melisa as she continues to use Sandy’s credit cards and stuff. Yes, she is pretty annoying as this goes on, as she is nothing but a nuisance to everyone around her. And she only gets WORSE.
With that pointless bit done, we cut to the next day as Sandy tries to get some gas but his credit card is denied. He talks to the gas station guy and he is informed that he has not paid his bills, and his card will be cut. After an annoying debate with the guy, who is a Mexican stereotype, by the way, Sandy finds out about the insane bills has has on his card.
He also finds out that the purchases have been made in Florida. Of course this Melissa is from Florida. While driving, Sandy is pulled over as he is told he is under arrested. They naturally don’t tell him why until he gets to the station. He is told that he was arrested for assault up in Florida. The fact that this Sandy was found and arrested for this brings up so many questions that I will ignore.
Long story short, they figure out that his identity was indeed stolen by this woman. However, they can’t deal with it as this is Colorado, and their PD doesn’t deal with Florida matters, cuz who can blame them?
So Sandy is pretty much up shit creek. I couldn’t complain that this Identity theft isn’t a bigger thing for them but if it keeps the woman off screen bit awhile longer, I’m game.
Later at work, Sandy tells Harold about what happened. The cops show up right there and tells Sandy that they found his name connected to some drug shit, and Cronish (whose first name is Harold, ironically) has told them that Sandy is a drug dealer. Wow, what a dick.
The head dude knows for a fact already that it’s not Sandy, as he points out, but screw logic. They search the place and shock of all shockers, they find nothing to prove Cornish’s claim. Head dude says he knows it’s the Florida woman but it’s still an open case.
Sandy tells him that he knows where the woman will be next cuz she booked an appointment at a place. But due to some legal bullshit, she has to be right here to do him any good.
“That’s the new standard for police work?”
“Have a good day”
Good point. Also, that was funny.
So Sandy tells hm that he will go to Florida himself and get the woman up here so the case can be shut. And now we have our plot: It’s an epic road trap to get an annoying woman from Florida to Colorado. Not the worst premise ever, but it is killed due to the uninspired plotting, and annoying lead. Trust me, you’ll see more of her awful-ness later.
Later, Sandy tells Trish, the wife, about this. After some debate, Sandy promises her that the woman isn’t dangerous, even though she looks like the kind of person who won’t take any shit. His reasoning is that she is short.
“That’s Hobbit height. I’m going after Bilbo”
Lord knows this movie would be better if that were true.
Sandy assures Trish that things will be okay, and now she’s cool with it. At least it wasn’t drawn out. Things are moving fast now, but from here on out, get ready for one overlong mes.
It only takes a few seconds for us to join Sandy in Florida as he sees the woman and follows her in his car. She catches onto this and they bump into each other, literally.
Naturally she pretends to be injured from this. Sandy plays her game and asks for her info and boom, he tells her that he is the real Sandy. She punches him and an EPIC BATTLE ensues. She drives away and she takes Sandy’s keys so he can’t go after her. Man, she’s just an awful person, isn’t she?
If she was the villain to the very end, I could tolerate how annoying she is, but again, she is going to be SYMPATHETIC later. At least Barry wasn’t a flat out asshole like this bitch! And like I said, she gets worse.
Through some stuff I won’t go over, Sandy finds the woman’s house and confronts her. Another EPIC BATTLE ensues and Sandy finally takes her down. Of course she tries to bullshit her way out of this, but these two bounty hunters show up.
One of them is a hot chick ,and the other is black because of course. They are pissed at Diana, the name the woman is called and thus the name I will call her for now, cuz….she naturally is gonna screw enough people over to have this happen.
Sandy and Diana escape, but Sandy makes sure to cuff them together so Diana will be stuck with him. Diana escapes the cuffs quickly and she refuses to go with Sandy. Through all of this, she is the most obnoxious bitch you can think of. Humor is subjective, so you may find her antics funny. Hell, I liked her in The Heat, even though some may say the name of that character, but I just find her so annoying here.
And it’s not even the actor’s fault. With how bad the character is written, no one could have saved it. Diana leaves the car but Sandy stops her. He tells her about the trouble she has caused and assures her that all she has to do is talk to his boss and confirm that Sandy did not do anything.
“You stay here, they’re gonna find you”
Eventually she agrees to go with him since she has nothing to lose and they are back on the road. We cut to the bounty hunter guys as their boss calls them up to demand that Diana be killed. No comment.
Some people have said that the plot is the issue with this movie, and this bounty bullshit, (which only gets more convoluted later on) weighs the movie down. While I agree that it is some forced conflict that amounts to nothing….it’s kind of enjoyable compared to Diana so I’ll take it.
Back with our dynamic duo, Diana continues to be as annoying as possible. I should mention that Jason Batmen is pretty good in this. His character is bland, but he has some amusing reaction and he’s the bright spot in this thing. Too bad his co star drags him down.
Sandy turns on the radio and Diana sings to every song because this movie needed some annoying padding. We cut to this other bounty hunter dude as someone calls him about Dian who owes money and stuff. Yep, we have another bounty hunter who works separately from the others. He’s cool and all (again, better than our star) but it makes the plot muddled. If it was just him or the other 2, the movie would have been fine. Well, not good but you know what I mean.
He visits a place where Diana used her credit card, and he threatens to burn it down if the lady doesn’t tell him more about Diana. He’s pretty badass in this bit, I admit. Hey, I rhymed.
Back on the road, Sandy and Diana are still bickering and Diana is still annoying. She tries to “bond” with him and shit like that but she mostly acts like asshole. Eventually they take a break to get some food at a restaurant. This bitch has the chance to escape but I guess she wants more wacky hi-jinx.
When they have to take their order, Diana takes advantage of Sandy to get more food, and Sandy disapproves.
“I told you to eat less food”
The waitress is not pleased.
“This is a beautiful woman let her eat”
Diana proceeds to tell the waitress a bullshit sob story of how she gained weight after Sandy stopped worked due to a penis injury, Also, she says his name is Walter, cuz of security reasons I guess.
“He gets mad at me, and he takes his anger out on me, and I feel bad about myself”
….Wow. FUCK YOU.
I mean, I get it. She’s supposed to be WACKY, but how can we like her after she does that shit? I know I’m harping on this, but she sucks!
“Do you know what a sociopath is?”
“Do they like ribs?”
Eh, that was kind of funny. But he’s right.
After that, they check in to a hotel but they only have single rooms tonight. Diana, of course, pulls out another story about Sandy being a dick. Sandy counteracts with a story about her being a bitch.
“She repulses me”
As much as I approve of him bashing her, this is really not fun to watch. Like in RIPD, the bickering feels just plain mean instead of funny. It’s not fun to watch people be assholes to each other with no sign of natural chemistry. There are few amusing lines, but it’s just not…fun.
Diana gets pissed and goes to a bar, where she meets this cowboy dude. Yes, he’s a temporary love interest. As in, he’s in the next segment and that’s it.
Big Chuck and Diana hit off, and Sandy comes in to get Diana out. Naturally, she’s not up for it and even worse, she says this to Chuck.
“Walt…likes to watch”
…Yeah. Thankfully, there’s no sex quite as Diana and Chuck hit the dance floor for an extended pointless sex gag. After that, they go back to the hotel …where Diana plays to fuck Chuck in front of Sandy.
“He likes to be humiliated verbally”
How is this funny? Scratch that: How is this remotely enjoyable? It’s a bitch of shitty jokes where Diana is a giant bitch for no reason! As I said, maybe some will find it funny and not get that I am annoyed but it, but this is just cringe worthy.
And to make it worse, it goes on ….and on…and on. Chuck starts taking off his pants, and Diana suggests Chuck and Sandy do it but thankfully, he leaves. But sadly, Diana and Chuck are still gonna do it.
After more padding, they finally fuck and it’s as obnoxious as sex possibly could be. I’ll just skip to when they finally stop and Chuck falls asleep. Then Diana steals some of Sandy’s stuff and leaves with him locked in the bathroom. Oh, NOW she escapes!
But while in the car, she picks up a missed call from Sandy’s kids. Hearing these kids and how they miss daddy makes Diana cry. Sorry, but it’s too late for cheap, syrupy- sadness. It won’t work.
But works for her, as she goes back to the hotel and pretends she never left. Well, that was pointless. The next morning, they get ready leaves as Sandy leaves Diana alone for a bit to check out of the hotel. But then the badass bounty hunter dude shows up to get Diana. I’m rooting for him.
Which is good cuz he quickly captures her in his truck and leaves. The End!
…Someday, that’s gonna work.
Sandy sees this an epic car chase ensues. Also, there’s line between Sandy and the bount hunter dude, as Sandy asks if he took Diana. He says no.
“I saw you take her”
“Then why did you ask me, dip shit?”
Okay, that was funny.
Anyway, Sandy tells the dude that he is the real Sandy.
“Sandy’s a girl name!”
“No, it’s unisex”
Did I mention that they hammer that exact dialogue in tons of times? We get it!
Long story short, they take out the bounty guy and after a bit where we think Diana is dead (We should be so lucky) the two are fun. Until Sandy’s are is randomly crushed by a big ass truck, because when a car is just sitting there on the side of the lane, you just fucking crush and don’t move at all.
So the two steal bounty hunter dude’ truck and get back on the road. Also, the other count hunter people find out from Big Chuck where Diana is and all that stuff. Back our heroes, the truck breaks down and they are now walking.
The other bounty hunters show up at the scene of the car crushing a bit later and move on. This whole “Bounty hunters show up at place where our heroes were in the last scene” stuff makes me want to watch the Spongebob movie again. Mostly cuz it doesn’t suck like this film does.
Diana thanks Sandy for saving her but she moves back to being a bitch, so it’s fine. The two decide to take a short cut through and woods and eventually they have a camp out. They go to bed a bit later but as you expect at this point, Diana has to be a bitch the whole way through. Her shtick is that she acts all innocent whole saying the stupidest bullshit. Just being a flat out bitch be better than this crap.
A snake randomly shows up so we can get another pointless extended comedic set piece. I don’t mind the episodic nature of the film, as I like that kind of thing, but spending it with these 2 is a chore.
After all of that, we cut to the next morning as they make it to a bus station. There isn’t a bus back to Denver for 3 days which means they are up shit creek yet again.
“I’m done. I lose, you win. You are a great thief”
….I swear, that will work someday.
They talk some more, and Diana reveals that she carried Sandy to the bus station after he got unconscious from the snake attack.
“You carried me half a mile”
Still too late for sweet-ness.
They buy a cheap car and get back on the road. Then the bounty hunter dude shows up at the bus station a bit later. Because the writers won’t let this subplot die. Though he’s still badass in these scenes.
He finds where Sandy and Diana went to and then the other bounty hunter people show up and take the bounty hunter dude down.
“We need here more than you do”
Can you just pick ONE bounty hunter subplot instead of this? It’s the best part of the movie but it just muddles the plot.
Back with our heroes, they run out of gas, and they are stuck. Diana suggests jacking a credit card so they can rent another car. Sandy objects, and Diana is shocked that Sandy is clean. She asks if there is anyone he hates, that he feels deserves the wrath of Sandy.
And so Sandy turns out around tells her about Cornish. His company conveniently has a branch in the city they are in, and the nearby building has his fanacial info, because you keep that in every building you own. They plan to steal said info to buy themselves car. A few things.
1. There has to be easier ways to get a car.
2. Sandy just….turns around and does something bad for no reason?
3. Now Diana is completely in the right, as it’s okay to steal from people from deserve it. I’m learning so much today!
I’m just skip these not several minutes. It goes on for too long and it it’s pointless. They successfully get the stuff they need to back on the road. But first, they use the new money they have to treat themselves. As if we needed more padding.
After that, Diana gets a make over and returns looking prettier. She stays for the rest of the movie, by the way. It’s kind of pointless, but you can say it’s a “only pretty women count” thing ala Hottie and the Nottie.
She and Sandy got out to dinner, as they are finally bonding. They didn’t bond at all until Diana suggests doing something bad, but one montage=BESTIES.
“You taught me about getting what I want”
She taught you that doing illegal things is okay if the other guy sucks.
“You also completely messed up my life”
After some more talking, Sandy bugs Diana about her REAL name.
“I don’t know it”
She reveals that she is from a town in Wisconsin called Morganville. Please let the twist be that she’s a vampire, that would explain so much!
She was a “door steep baby” who ended up in Foster care. She has never had anyone to care for her.
“I don’t give a shit about people, and people don’t give a shit about me”
Yep, it’s sympathetic backstory time. Needless to say, it doesn’t work. At all. To McCarthy’s credit, she plays the following scene very well, so it ALMOST works. But it doesn’t. Why the story….makes some level of sense, it also doesn’t really excuse her behavior.
While it get that this could make her distant, I really have a hard time buying that it leads to a life of crime and asshole-ness. Really, it’s not anyone’s fault here. If she just let people into her life early on, perhaps could have found some hope and had an okay life. But nope.
I might sound like an asshole, but you can’t slap on a backstory and expect us to like an asshole. Even Dinner for Schmucks had the excuse of Barry being stupid. I can buy that his sad-ness is caused by his stupidity, so I can see why a viewer may feel bad for him.
That’s it, I just complimented Barry. That’s how bad this is.
It gets worse when Diana acts like Sandy is the asshole, treating her like shit. You treated him like shit, fair is fair. Thankfully, some dudes come in and expose the two are the thieves they are. Diana tries the “arrest him it’s my fault” thing and the cops take them away.
The e-fuck it, it’s never gonna work.
The other bounty hunter guys saw this, and their boss tells them to bail Diana out and kill her. Then the big bounty hunter dude shows up and shoots them. This entire story with them is still more tolerable than the main plot.
Big Bounty hunter dude stores them in trunk and he moves on. It’s hard to feel suspense when Diana brought this on herself.
Diana and Sandy escape the cops, because god forbid they pay for a crime they committed. The big hunter guy shows up and tries to run Diana over and he does. Well, actually she hits the car and cartoon-ish-ly flies onto the road. Naturally, she survives without a scratch on her. The bounty hunter dude crashes his car and he is arrested. So the villains rarely interact with our heroes and when they do, they are NOT taken out by them. Weakest conflict ever.
By the way, the other bounty hunter people are found by the cops too, in caser you wanted to know. Sandy and Diana get back on the road,
“You got hit by a car, are you even human?”
Sandy thanks Diana because the car almost hit him, so she kind of saved his life. Eh, I’ll give him that one but other than that, she has done nothing good for you. Thankfully, they finally arrive home at Sandy’s house. We’re in the home stretch!
Sandy introduces Diana to his wife and kids. She will be staying with them tonight, which is with hiss wife who shouldn’t think she’s cool yet. Diana picks this moment to start being pleasant as she bonds with the kids. Too little, too late.
“She’s not bad a person”
Say it with me, kids: YES SHE IS.
That night we get another supposedly sweet scene to make us think Diana is a good person, and Sandy wonders if he really should turn her in. The next morning, he decides he won’t. Yes, the let the chick who has stolen various identities go free. Even if she IS good now, it doesn’t mean her bad deeds should go unpunished.
Thankfully, he finds out she went on in her own to turn herself in. Well, that was cool of her. He goes his job place and he indeed finds Diana there, ready to be taken away. The main cop guys tells Sandy that is officially free and Diana is going away.
“You got your good name back”
Sandy has a moment with Diana, who tells him that she decided to own up to her mistakes and she will just easily escape from Jail if she gets bored. She’s still a peach.
“I really loved our trip”
This is well acted, but I can’t be moved if the characters suck this bad. But hey, Diana is in jail and Sandy is free. This should be a happy moment but instead it’s sad. But we’re almost done!
We cut to one year later, as Sandy is celebrating his birthday. After that, they visit Diana in prision. Hey, she actually stayed there! And guess what? The movie indeed ends with her in jail. Instead of doing some shit where she escapes, she gets in trouble for what she did, but thanks to visiting hours, she and Sandy are still friends.
Well, I’m glad she did the time, even if the trip to this point sucked. Sandy again acts pleasant to the kids even if she still has shades of her awful-ness. Sandy tells Diana they he did some searching and he actually find her real name: Dawn.
Too pretty for someone like….her.
“That’s a terrible fucking name”
She’s still happy though. They hug it out, and Dawn walks back to her cell…..then punches out a cop and gets tasered. Roll credits.
…The last chance she had to be likable was ruined. Are you shocker? Well, at least this over long movie is over. And that’s just the normal cut. The Extended cut, which I thankfully did not find, is 2 HOURS!
This is gonna be short, because I think I’ve gotten my point across fine. Now, this movie isn’t really THAT bad, to be honest. It’s (mostly) well acted, it has it’s amusing points, and anything without Diana/Dawn is…meh.
But as you guessed, Diana really drags it down. For most of the movie, she is a really unlikable woman. The writer goes out of his way to make her an awful creature and not only expects us to laugh, but also expects us to feel BAD for her!
I know it seemss impossible to make a character like this likable, but it’s not that hard to do . Just make it so this is her first time doing anything hugely bad, and she only recently screwed up due to years of being screwed over. Keep the backstory, but just tweak it so she comes across as mean but likable.
There, I just a wrote a much better movie. Just make Sandy less bland, the other character existent, and expand the bounty hunters role so they are actually important. But as it is, this is a mediocre movie made worse by one of the most unlikable characters I’ve come across.
Bless her heart, Melissa tries but she can’t make this character likable. The whole bonding time near the end comes close to working, but thanks to weak writing and Diana’s character, it doesn’t work.
There isn’t much else to say, The other characters, like Cornish or Harold, are dull and the bounty hunters are cool but pointless. The plot is basic and that’s fine, but again, the writing kills it.
It’s really not the worst movie of 2013 (nor the worst comedy. Cough movie 43 cough), because Diana is the only thing that is painful about it. The rest of the issues stem from her. In Dinner for Shmucks, the rest of the movie was still bad, not just Barry. Here, it’s one character that kills. Still, it’s a bad flick that you should avoid, even if you’re a big Mellisa McCarthy fan.
Next time, we go back to the wonderful world of Disney….channel.